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Alzheimer's Disease

MRI Question About Dementia

10/03/2007

Question:

I have had memory problems / fatigue for a few years, within the last year it has gotten worse. First I went to a cardiologist who found "Moderate Myocardial Bridging of the proximal and left anterior descending" coronary arteries. But he did not feel it related to my memory problems. Next I went to a neurologist, I have the results of an MRI and this has to do with my question (if you could tell me in laymans terms what it means?) I also had a EEG, EMG, NCS, but don`t have those results yet. Neuropsychological test said "her memory functioning is in the borderline demented range.." Here is the MRI report...

"A few areas of high signal can be seen in the convexity white matter. The distribution and location carry a differential diagnosis of Minimal white matter micro vascular ischemic disease or Vasculitis. Multiple sclerosis is included in the differential diagnosis, but less likely.

The distribution pattern is atypical for a demyelinating disease. Contrast enhancement pattern is satisfactory. Diffusion imaging is unremarkable. The pituitary is not enlarged. The paranasal sinuses appear satisfactory.

Some scattered minimal foci of hyperintense signal can be seen in the peripheral supratentorial white matter on FLAIR axial imaging. Differential diagnosis is minimal micro vascular disease versus vasculitis. A demyelinating disease such as multiple sclerosis is listed in the differential diagnoses, but is considered unlikely. The presentation is atypical for this. No other findings."

Thank You !!!!!! I have been worried about it and don`t have my follow-up appointment until next week.

Answer:

Basically the MRI suggests that there may be some small blood vessel disease in your brain. It does not appear to be significant based on the report. However, this needs to be taken in context with your history and examination that is best done with your physician.

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Response by:

Douglas W Scharre, MD Douglas W Scharre, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University